Sunday, May 2, 1999
QUITE a few addictions plague the people of our country. "Drinking" is one, which claims a large number of people as its addicts. "Smoking" is another, which is no less powerful than "drinking" when judged the number of its victims. As a matter of fact, in a considerable number of cases, the two co-exist and thrive together.
"Drug-addiction" is still another, which seems to be mostly confined to the students and the youth of our country. "Gambling" is the fourth one, which holds it sway over a vast number of people. All these addictions, nevertheless, bring rebuke and ruin.
The addiction with which I am, however, concerned in this short write-up is one which has hundreds of people as its addicts, who appear to have gone crazy about knowing their future, and insanely keep running after some soothsayers, sadhus and swamis or persons of that ilk, to get their future predicted. Whether a person is a V.I.P. or an ordinary soul, an intellectual or an illiterate person, rich or poor, old or young, he has an uncontrollable and uncanny desire to know what his future holds for him; and wants these soothsayers, sadhus and swamis etc to probe into his future and lay it bare before him. However, it is the V.I.Ps, more than the ordinary persons, the intellectuals, more than the illiterate, the rich, more than the poor, who keep indulging in such an exercise without any hitch or hesitation, and notwithstanding the fact that they are living in an age of science, supersonics, satellites, and sputniks, where there is no room whatsoever for such absurd and abominable activities. This sort of addiction can very aptly be termed or characterised as "prediction-addiction".
Every Sunday, the subscribers get with their "Dailies" "pullout", which is known as "The Magazine Section". This "Magazine Section" predicts everyones future for the following week, under the 12 Zodiac signs. How avidly the "prediction-addicts" go through these predictions is no more a secret. If these predictions happen to be rosy, they are immensely delighted, and scan them again with still greater eagerness. If, however, they turn out to be bleak, they pull a morose face and feel upset and disturbed. So foolishly they pin their faith on these predictions!
I, too, go through such predictions, not because I have any faith in them just out of sheer curiosity. Sometimes, these predictions, inter alia, warn me against an accident; sometimes against heavy expenditure, and sometimes they predict a long journey for me. But I have never seen any one of these predictions coming true. None can pry into his future.It is only the Almighty who knows what the future holds for us.
What, however, intrigues me and against which I want to raise my voice vehemently and vociferously is the conduct of some reputed personalities who, knowing what is right and what is wrong, hanker after such sadhus and swamis and waste not only a lot of money but also their valuable time to know their future. These sadhus and swamis are sweet-tongued and know the knack of extracting the maximum amount of money and securing favours from their credulous victims.
"Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate," says Shakespeare.
"That which God has written on thy forehead, thou wilt come to it," declared The Koran.
These are words of great wisdom, indeed; and are steeped deep in sanctity. When interpreted collectively, three vital truth come to the fore. One, we cannot know our future, or what fate holds for us, because the Almighty has decreed to keep it hidden and concealed from us. Two, when the soothsayers cannot know their own future, it is preposterous to believe that they know ours. And three, whatever is destined for us, we shall certainly get it.
There is great rationale behind this divine decree. If our future is bright and we know about it, we would be utterly careless. And if we were to have a foreknowledge of our bleak future, we would be constantly morose and melancholic.It will be, accordingly, an exercise in utter futility to try to have knowledge of things to come. It will also be paranoiac to run after certain sadhus and swamis for this purpose. Such persons are parasites on our polity.
Man is, nevertheless, the architect of his own destiny, the maker of his own fate or future. The mould of his future is accordingly in his own hands. What a sensible thing it will, therefore, be if every "prediction-addict" stoutly shuns all these sadhus and swamis, chooses a mould of his future and works hard to achieve the end he has set his heart on. Always keep in mind Ruskins following words of great wisdom:
"Though you may
have known clever men who were indolent; you never knew a
great man who was so; and when I hear a young man spoken
of as giving promise of great genius, the first question
I ask about him always is: Does he work?"
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